[Today’s article was written by guest author, Debbie Allen, an online marketer, content writer, and blogger.]
Have you ever thought about the connection between your business ethics and your online reputation? Believe it or not, they are directly and indirectly connected. Let’s explore how.
About Business Ethics
First, we need to talk about what business ethics really are. To put things simply, the term refers to the behaviors, actions, and strategies used by a business in dealing with the world on a daily basis. It refers to the way the business deals with a single customer as well as how the business interacts with its general audience and the global network.
In it for the Money
Businesses that seem to be all about making money get a bad reputation. Although the goal of every business is to make a profit, it is the businesses that find ways to put customers first that gain the credibility and trust of consumers. People question the ethics of businesses that appear to be in it only for the money. Make sure this is not the perception that the public has of your company.
About Online Reputations
Every business in the world today should have an online presence—and every one that does have an online presence also has an online reputation. As time goes on, that reputation will grow. It is only natural that more and more content will be added about the business. This will include things like blog posts, content at the business website, product and customer reviews, customer feedback at social networking sites, press releases, white papers, and the list goes on.
It is from bits and pieces of these types of content that people develop opinions about your business—and from that, your reputation is developed.
Obviously, you have complete control over some of the content added to the Internet about your business—but not all of it. For instance, a customer could add feedback that she was treated disrespectfully when she asked for a refund. This information could be shared across various social media networks.
A blogger could decide to share a post about the customer’s experience. That post could be shared by others.
As you can see, whether the story is true or not, within a short amount of time, hundreds or even thousands of people could learn that your company has poor business ethics regarding refunds.
What to Do
Reputation management is an important component of business management. It is an ongoing task that cannot be ignored.
As a businessperson, you have to keep up with what information is online about you and your business. Take the time to Google the name of your business as well as your own name and even the name of your products on a regular basis. Check out the information you find.
If there are customer comments or reviews, take the time to follow up with them. This is a great opportunity to interact with your target audience. Although you are addressing a single customer, others will also read the comments. It is the perfect time to demonstrate your golden business ethics.
When Damage Is Out of Control
In some instances, a reputation may seem to be damaged beyond repair. Don’t panic. There are teams of experts, like those at Reputation.com, that can handle even the worst situations and circumstances. The important thing is to get help as quickly as possible.
A stellar online reputation says you have excellent business ethics. These two things sort of go hand in hand.
Keep in mind, these are not the kinds of things you acquire and forget about—they are ongoing developments that you will forever have to work at. However, the effort is worthwhile; they can help you achieve optimal success.
Debbie Allen is an online marketer, content writer, and blogger. She has a background in Organizational Development and an interest in topics related to small business management. She frequently writes about issues related to online marketing strategies, SEO, and online reputation management.